We are excited to formally introduce our CTO, Patrick Keller, who joined EVA Global this year. Patrick’s passions include simulation and VR technology, any tech gadget and he has vast experience in building digital products in games, video streaming and other industries.
We asked Patrick five questions on today’s rapidly changing EV charging landscape - What this evolution means to customers and what EVA Global’s role is in the ecosystem.
How do you think the EV drivers have experienced the development of charging in the last few years? Do they appreciate the changes? What has been the role of operators during this growth period?
I think they do not need to appreciate any development at all. The measurement of success should be when they don't notice a brand, make, model, and location of chargers anymore because they all simply just work.
We have made quite some strides on charger infrastructure and tech readiness. However, there are still some old dinosaurs out there that, if they are hit at random by an EV driver, will not give them a great experience no matter how experienced the driver is.
Suppose we ever get to a stage where charger anxiety is completely gone. In that case, chargers talk to the cars directly, and it's a seamless experience that allows drivers to focus on the adjacent offerings on the locations. That is the scenario where our job is done.
From personal home and municipal charging to regional infrastructure, is there one charging method that needs to improve faster than others?
That depends on the country a lot, and some countries are still way behind in maturity, when it comes to access to home charging, while others have access to plug/charge already.
Obviously, that also varies greatly in bigger cities, where infrastructure needs to be public and there is a need for support or incentives for homeowner associations and similar groups to offer solutions to their tenants politics-free. In some countries there isn’t enough public infrastructure on highways and outside of bigger cities, so you need to accept detours, if you want to travel longer distances.
We also need to work on the actual payment options, because even the best charger doesn't help you if your card doesn't work and there is no ad-hoc payment option. This is especially important should you leave your own country with your car.
Where are we seeing the most frustrations from an EV driver's perspective in today's charging ecosystem?
In my experience, there are two main issues EV drivers face. The first one is an overwhelming amount of tariff subscriptions and price points on various cards. The second is the reliability and accessibility of the charging points.
It's not that easy to get started with how you actually want to charge your car. Most EV drivers make choices before they buy a car, and then the experience at the charge port is instantly bad, if the choices made beforehand won't work in practice. Most EV drivers know their "preferred" locations and the chargers that they can trust to work after a few charging sessions, but that goes out the window while you travel just outside your usual circle.
What technologies are EV drivers unaware of that can make charging seamless by a managed service provider?
I believe payment and pricing will be a hot topic in the future. For pricing some would benefit and feel at ease with a flat rate, but others would prefer a service that provides dynamic pricing, or even better a solution that would provide the information on the best offer available at the moment. Whatever the case, clarity is appreciated. For payment, as any consumers, EV drivers appreciate the choice to pay in their preferred way from apps and tags to credit cards. These are both challenges we are solving with our EVA Pays solution and our payment terminal.
With the surge in EV charging and DC charging infrastructure, where does a company like EVA Global best fit in to help EV drivers?
Well, first, we provide assistance to the driver in their moment of need. Where ever they are, whenever and with whatever charging question they are facing. Our focus is on customer experience. Our mission is to make it simple and hassle-free for everyone.
Ultimately though, we aim to optimize and catch errors before the driver actually notices them. By working closely with CPOs and MSPs, we can look at the whole chain and either prevent failures from happening or make sure we notice them fast enough, so that an agent or a service provider can get on site to prevent extensive downtime.
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